Hyderabad, Oct 10 (PTI): Power sector employees in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions of Andhra Pradesh on Thursday called off their indefinite strike “temporarily” in view of cyclonic storm Phailan that is expected to hit the Bay of Bengal coast on Friday.
The power employees have been on indefinite strike for the last five days against the Union Cabinet's decision to create a separate Telangana state out of Andhra Pradesh. They have been demanding that the Centre withdraw the move to bifurcate the state.
Following a request by Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, who held talks with the striking employees at the Secretariat here this afternoon, the Electricity Employees Joint Action Committee agreed to call off the strike and resume duties from Friday morning, JAC leader Saibabu said.
”We have not called off our strike completely. It's only temporary in view of the cyclone threat,” Saibabu told reporters after the meeting with the Chief Minister.
The decision was taken to avoid inconvenience to the people, he said, adding that power supply would be restored immediately.
”We will, however, continue our protests in other forms,” he said.
The JAC leader thanked 30,000 regular and 15,000 contract employees of the power sector for taking part in the indefinite strike.
He also thanked the people for bearing with hardships during the strike period and said they would continue the agitation till their demand for a united state was not met.
The strike pushed 13 coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema districts into darkness, affecting movement of trains and emergency services in hospitals besides hampering supply to Hyderabad city.
The two main power generating stations -- Narla Tata Rao Thermal Power Station at Vijayawada and Rayalaseema Thermal Power Station at Kadapa -- remained shut for five days resulting in a shortfall of 2,810 Mega Watt of power.
The Srisailam right bank hydro power station also did not function, leading to loss of another 770 MW.
This largely affected power supply leading to blackouts, particularly in Seemandhra districts, but officials took adequate measures to maintain the grid balance and avert a possible collapse of the southern power grid.